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How Obama has played, and should play, the deficit reduction issue.

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fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

Obama should have supported Simpson-Bowles right from the start.  Instead he played smarter-than-one-half, believing his support would be the Kiss of Death with the Republicans in the House.

America is looking for Obama to be a different, bold leader.  However, the whole Simpson-Bowles fiasco made him look like a typical politician.  If he thinks being a typical Liberal politician is going to work in this election, he is in for a rude awakening.  He crushed McCain in the last election because independants believed he would be a different type of politician.  They will not be supportive this election and it makes him vulnerable given the tough economic times.

georgiamd
georgiamd

Obama reduce the deficit?  Surely you jest, Joe. His proclivity for spending is unparalleled  and threatens to bankrupt our nation. The man cannot get a budget passed during his White House tenure and adds to our 15.8 trillion dollars deficit by over FOUR billion dollars per day!

Any hope for fiscal sanity from this man, is like trying to rub a Leprechaun for luck.

Americans  want to see real hope restored, not false hopes raised.

paulejb
paulejb

Cut it out, Joe. Obama is intentionally bankrupting the nation. It's the Cloward-Piven strategy.

pollardty
pollardty

Conspiracy theory of the day. Buy 2 and get the third one for FREE!

bobell
bobell

Only no one's heard of Cloward or Piven.

[No need to post on them, paule, I won't read it.]

Pnnto
Pnnto

The more I think about the column it really is a perfect mix of bad politics ( republican commercial "Obama wants to harm Medicare and Social Security!" we saw this 2 years ago) and bad policy (as England illustrates).

Smell the "leadership"!

pollardty
pollardty

"The more I think about the column...

You thought more about Joe's column than Joe did.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Charlie Pierce has a different take on the coming Sting.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p...

And the motto of his blog is "Fck the deficit. People got no jobs. People got no money."

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Pulitzer prize winning writers Barlett and Steele discuss what they believe is the bad economic policy that will be followed by either candidate and make the point that the important deficit is the trade deficit. The debt (or budget deficit) that is causing such palpitations will go away once there are jobs in this country. The first link has a transcript of a brief interview; the second link is to a radio interview where they explain more fully about the difference between the deficits.

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/06/...

http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes...

georgiamd
georgiamd

 Of course you're done, Ivy, because the facts totally contradict your "Fck the deficit" assessment. The ramifications of this escalating deficit can and will reduce our nation to poverty. Obama has only escalated our decline and shows no inclination (or expertise) in reversing this downward spiral....he only worsens an already bad situation.

So stay smug and in denial...it is a trait much coveted by liberal ideology. Your senior citizen status has not brought you much wisdom, I'm afraid.....perhaps your daughter can explain it all to you when you are in a more receptive mood.

georgiamd
georgiamd

If reducing the trade deficit is the key to recovery, Ivy, then Obama has done an abysmal job.  From the WSJ:

News that the U.S. trade deficit shot upwards in June to

near record heights is a reminder that the steady export growth

President Barack Obama has been counting on to restore U.S. economic

health has yet to materialize.

One significant reason

is the administration's continuing ambivalence about free trade. Instead

of pushing for adoption of trade agreements his party has held up for

at least five years, Mr. Obama continues to raise obstacles to their

early ratification by Congress.

And his administration has been content to let

multilateral trade negotiations languish while it does nothing to revive

lapsed presidential trade negotiation powers.

The

June trade deficit increased 4.4 percent from May, largely because of an

unanticipated decline in exports. A world-wide slowdown in economic

growth contributed to the disappointing export figures.

 

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Earl, I said I was done because it was clear you have no interest in having a discussion, had not read anything in any of the links I posted and simply copy and paste something from the Wall Street Journal. I posted discussions from Pulitzer Prize winning reporters and you don't address what they say, simply google the phrase and find something to support your point of view.

I mention the books and indicate I wasn't going to engage you any more and you respond by resorting to insults just like the other wingers who post here. I'm sure you're proud to be in the company of Rusty. Perhaps you can aspire to being banned as he has been so many times.

This time I am done responding to you - although I note you still haven't learned to post links to material you copy.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

I'm done. Ask for the Barlett and Steele book for Christmas. And you can read their previous one in the meantime in case you are interested in learning anything.

georgiamd
georgiamd

 Each taxpayer owes 138,345 to payoff our enormous national debt of 15,871,202,480 trillion dollars. This figure does not include the unfunded portion of SS and Medicare, now estimated to be over 80 trillion dollars and yet, you still say... "Fck the deficit"....interesting how the liberal mind works. Sooner than later, Ivy, someone will have to pay the piper. You cannot keep kicking that can down the road.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

BTW, did you read my link? You also overlooked the last two phrases. The point is further explained below.

Stuart Zechman
Stuart Zechman

Joe Klein:

There is no "deficit reduction" issue.

There is only a "crappy economy for most people" issue.

Beltway-driven, centrist consensus is wrong --again.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"There is no "deficit reduction" issue."

Even if their were, there's no meaningfully reducing the deficit without creating real and sustained growth, which means (since the policy direction gets reset every four years) pretty much ignoring the deficit until government creates real and sustained growth. That's if we had leadership in government and the establishment punditocracy motivated to and capable of doing so. Obviously, we have no such thing.

apr2563
apr2563

Thanks Stuart.  I don't have the energy to help Joe understand his usual shallow, conventional wisdom punditry.  He will now be invited to CNN and MSNBC to espouse the merit of his latest column.  Joe, the revered expert on every topic, will be taken seriously and never challenged.

pollardty
pollardty

I think Joe had you in mind when he was writing this.

AfGuyReturns
AfGuyReturns

Just not for them... and THAT's the problem.

It's hard to identify with suffering and poverty if that's the last thing you'll see from your front door.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

Just cut Social Security for the little people, and that will solve everything!

All the 3rd Way types agree.  And sadly, this includes our right-wing Democratic President.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com...

He (Obama) particularly believes that Democrats do not receive enough credit for their willingness to accept cuts in Medicare and Social Security, while Republicans oppose almost any tax increase to reduce the deficit.

~

Stuart Zechman
Stuart Zechman

Obama's not right-wing, Tom Friedman isn't right-wing, Joe Klein isn't right-wing. These are not right-wing Democrats, they're Third Way Democrats. Not Blue Dog/Bart Stupak, but New Democrat/Brad Sherman:

http://www.ontheissues.org/CA/... 

These are ideological (not political, not "middle of the road") centrists. They're center-wing ideologues, not right-wing. This confusion between center and right has been exploited masterfully (so far) by the parties and the political press corps, and we need to help folks understand that  "the left" is something entirely different from both "the right" AND "the center-left coalition," don't you agree?

Pnnto
Pnnto

JK concludes, after noting that the republicans refuse to move an inch. -

Has he tried hard enough? Probably not, but why disappoint your own base--with entitlement reform--when the other side won't play? Even so, should the President make a big SimBowlic statement in this campaign, perhaps in his convention speech? Absolutely. It's called leadership."

Leadership is betraying your supporters at your nomination? And for, as JK says, no real point. That is almost a parody of Beltway advice to Democrats.

pollardty
pollardty

Fetishized Centrism strikes again!

Pnnto
Pnnto

Which leads to a republican administration which leads to more helpful advice to the Democratic party to move to the right.

pollardty
pollardty

Please Joe, tell us how we are wrong. 

pollardty
pollardty

It's the only way to keep Joe in the sweet spot of the "center".

grape_crush
grape_crush

How Obama has played, and should play, the deficit reduction issue.

Dear God. You're so wrong, Joe. Obama should be on stealth mode for the rest of this year when it comes to deficit reduction, and let Congress fight it out...as they are the ones who have to put together and pass the bill.

The line should be, "Last year, Congressional Republicans wouldn't negotiate in good faith or take 'Yes' for an answer. Ball is in their court to come up with a bill that can pass both the House and Senate. If they can't get their act together, the automatic reductions kick in and we'll have deficit reduction whether we like how it's done or not."

"Now who wants to ask me if I think Romney should release his tax returns?"

fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

grape_crush,

I am going to have to disagree strongly with you on this issue.  While those of us in the know understand the importance of Congress, for most Americans, the President gets all the credit and all the blame for economy policy.

Obama should have been bold and supported Simpson-Bowles and asked the Republicans to come up with an alternative.  Instead, the President tried to be smarter-than-a-half and felt that if he supported Simpson-Bowles, it would have been the Kiss of Death.

The problem is that Obama campaigned that he would bring something different to Washington.  By sidestepping Simpson-Bowles, he started looking just like the typical politician.  It is looking like the typical politician which will drive independants away and make Obama very vulnerable in the general election.

We are in an economic crisis which requires bold leadership, not waiting for the other side to make a mistake and jumping all over it.  We need economic leadership from Obama and at this point, the best grade I can give him is a "C".

bobell
bobell

All else aside, Simpson-Bowles offset the tax rate cuts with equivalent cuts to all tax preferences (aka loopholes). And I do mean ALL.  Everything from the oil depletion allowance to the mortgage interest deduction to the lower rates for dividents and interest was not only on the table but a necessary part of deficit reduction.  I defy you to find any non-crackpot politician of either party who wouldn't object to a single one of those closed loopholes.

For that reason, if no other, Simpson-Bowles could not possibly have survived unscathed, and Obama , by challenging everybody's  favorite loopholes, would have lost himself the election two years before it was held.

As usual, Paul Krugman debunked the whole thing. I can't turn up a link, but I remember very well the scorn he heaped on it.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

From your lips to Obama's ear.

sacredh
sacredh

grape_crush, should Romney release his tax returns?

grape_crush
grape_crush

It's almost past the point where it matters if Romney releases them or not. Damage has already been done, releasing the returns won't change perceptions and would most likely be even more harmful to Romney. Better a slow burn than to be lit up like a bonfire.

Should he? Yup.

Will he? Not likely.

 

grape_crush
grape_crush

Why should Romney not release his returns when it has become standard...

He should, Ivy.

He won't, because he's not required to and releasing them would likely confirm much of the speculation.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

grape, why should Romney not release his returns when it has become standard for Presidential candidates? I'm all for keeping it going until he somehow does, but I'm not willing to give up the fact that he should.

His father set the standard, saying one year could be a fluke.

apr2563
apr2563

I think it is amusing that the pundocracy thinks he should release his tax returns.  After all, not doing so is more damaging.

How do they know what nastiness will be exposed if he releases them?

grape_crush
grape_crush

I think we need to know the tax information of someone who is going to

be responsible for revising the tax code which will affect all of us.

We need to know, yes.

But does Romney himself need to disclose? I don't think so.

 

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

As Paul Dirks has been pointing out, I think we need to know the tax information of someone who is going to be responsible for revising the tax code which will affect all of us.

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

I'm reminded of what Kerry used to say about Iraq. Wrong War - Wrong Place - Wrong Time.

There's certainly a proper time to worry hard about deficits. The decade immediately before the economy went into freefall comes to mind right away.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

Reduce unemployment and you'll reduce the deficit.

This "pain for thee, but not for me" austerity nonsense from the Village is going to fail.  Like just about everything else (wars, deregulation, tax cuts, etc.) that they've pushed for the last three decades.

W*nkers.

~

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"This "pain for thee, but not for me" austerity nonsense from the Village is going to fail."

It has already failed. The only question now is how spectacularly.

AfGuyReturns
AfGuyReturns

It's got to fail in some spectacular way that affects THEM... not just some poor schmuck out in the hinterlands (you know... the rest of us).

pollardty
pollardty

Or...Obama could listen to Paul Krugman.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Speaking of Krugman --

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...

I also like that he carefully points out that the Bowles-Simpson report is simply a report of the two chairs since they couldn't get the number of votes from the full committee to make it a committee report.

AfGuyReturns
AfGuyReturns

If only... but, as we have been told (repeatedly), Krugman's "shrill".

Can't have that...

pollardty
pollardty

I'll look forward to Joe linking to noted economics expert Krauthamer or Kristol for saying something "smart"*.   

  

*smart = agrees with Joe